A lawsuit claims that a federal rule interferes with Florida’s employment policies.
President Biden, NASA, and a number of officials and agencies within the Biden administration are being sued by the state of Florida for their “unlawful” COVID-19 vaccine mandates requiring government contractors to get vaccinated, claiming the rule interferes with Florida’s employment policies and “threaten” the state’s economy.
The lawsuit, first obtained by Fox News, was filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Gov. Ron DeSantis against Biden, NASA, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, and officials from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense over the mandates, which require all executive branch workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as federal contractors to mandate vaccinations and ensure workers are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.
Florida’s lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court in the middle district of Florida’s Tampa division on Thursday morning, claims that NASA and others “frequently contracts with Florida, has current contractual relationships with Florida, and is and will continue to seek to impose the Biden administration’s unlawful requirements to Florida.”
“Because the government’s unlawful vaccine requirement seeks to interfere with Florida’s employment policies and threaten Florida with economic harm and the loss of federal contracts, the State seeks relief from this Court,” the lawsuit states.
In the lawsuit, Florida argues that if the federal vaccine mandates are not challenged, the state will be forced to require vaccinations of specific state officials, as the state contracts with entities that also contract with the federal government.
According to the lawsuit, the Biden administration is “relying on a statute” that allows the president to “‘prescribe policies and directives that the President considers necessary to carry out the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (FPASA) of 1949 (FPASA)” to “compel millions of Americans who work for government contractors to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”
“Nothing in that statute authorizes such a radical intrusion on the personal autonomy of American workers—especially, as is the case here when many of those workers are officials of a sovereign state,” the lawsuit says.
Florida argued that “even if” the statute did authorize the mandate, the administration’s vaccine requirements “would still be unlawful because the manner in which they were enacted violates fundamental principles of administrative and procurement law.”
As per Fox News, a Florida official told that Florida believes the administration “misread FPASA,” claiming it “does not authorize the government to use its contracts to impose social policy not authorized by Congress.”
The state is arguing that the court “hold unlawful and set aside” Biden’s executive order; issue “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief enjoining Defendants from enforcing the executive order;” issue declaratory relief declaring the administration’s actions “unlawful;” award Florida costs and attorney’s fees; and award any other relief the Court “deems equitable and just.”
The complaint follows President Biden’s signing of an executive order over the summer mandating all executive branch employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Biden also signed an order requiring coronavirus vaccinations for organizations with more than 100 workers.
In September, Biden issued an order mandating federal contractors to require vaccines and verify that workers are fully vaccinated by December 8. Some federal contractor advocacy groups have pushed the administration to extend the deadline for workers until 2022, claiming that the deadline could result in large resignations during the holiday season, contributing to the worsening supply chain crisis.